North Sails NEWS
KEN & LIISA BACCO CAST OFF WITH THE OYSTER WORLD RALLY
Oyster 47.5 Altair Sports North Cruising Sails For Round-The-World Adventure
In 2016, Ken and Liisa Bacco set sail from Newport, Rhode Island on December 1st during a snow storm onboard their Oyster 47.5 cutter rig, Altair, to meet up with the Oyster World Rally (OWR) in Antigua. Departing Antigua in January of 2017 with the OWR, the Baccos have circumnavigated the globe, making memories and forming new friendships along the way.
“Something we did find out is that 99.9% of the people in the world are wonderful,” remarked Ken. “Wherever we were, people wanted to help us and get to know us. They made a point to come over and say hello, which was encouraging being in places we’d never visited before.”
How did they get the opportunity to take on an adventure like this? “The stars aligned,” said Liisa. “Our kids had left the nest, we were healthy, and it was the best time in our lives to do it.”
The Baccos took delivery of their new sails in 2015, and have since logged over 40,000 miles on them. “It’s quite a feat to think our sails have made it tens of thousands of miles around the world with our original suit of North Sails,” said Ken. “And everywhere we’ve gone, we always get comments on our mainsail. People all over the world have told us, ‘your mainsail is gorgeous!’. We couldn’t be happier with our investment.”
Altair’s mainsail is equipped with three reef points. They have a furling genoa, a staysail, and a trysail which runs forward on a track. “Our staysail is so critical,” says Ken. “You’d think wing on wing would be good, but the staysail makes all the difference in the world for stability.” For making pace-off the wind, they trust in their asymmetric spinnaker. They use a KZ Furler and a Future Fibres torsion cable for their A2 which is on the furler. Liisa calls it “their secret weapon.” Having the right set up makes it easy for the duo to sail shorthanded in any condition, and stay safe.
NPL TOUR is built to last, but the Baccos ensure its lifespan by staying on top of maintenance, taking advantage of a few key loft locations around the world.
“Making sure things are in the best shape makes the entire experience run smoothly.” Says Liisa, “We can’t say enough about our relationship with North Sails and the service teams we’ve worked with. Now that we’re full-time cruisers, we know we’ve made the right choice when it comes to sails for our boat.”
From Portsmouth, RI, to Milford, CT , Antigua, and South Africa, Ken and Liisa credit experts Service Manager Eric Wakefield and Sail Expert Tom Castiglione with making their bluewater cruising experience fun and easy. Andrew Dove at North Sails Antigua pitched in to teach the couple everything they needed to know about choosing the right battens, and installing them correctly.
The Bacco family has sailed all over the world, and their quest for adventure is never-ending. They’ve logged stopovers to many areas, including the Caribbean, South Africa, New Zealand, Madagascar, Indonesia, Fiji, Panama, French Polynesia, and many more.
Joining The Oyster World Rally
When visiting the UK, Liisa learned about the Oyster World Rally. This was when the boat was being built. Ken said; “Liisa called me and said we’ve got to do this!” The Oyster World Rally provides a once in a lifetime, non-competitive opportunity for Oyster yacht owners to sail around the world. This adventure around the planet is focused on safety and yacht support combined with stopover points in unique destinations.
The rest is history. “We’ve made so many friends for life joining the Oyster World Rally,” says Ken. “We all take turns organizing trips together, and everyone is fun to sail with. We really enjoy adventuring with this group. They are a fun group and we’ve seen some amazing places together.”
We can’t wait to find out where Ken and Liisa are headed to next. Until then, read more about the Bacco’s never-ending adventures around the world here.